1. a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
a sudden, transitory constriction of a passage, canal, or orifice; spasms usually occur when the nerves supplying muscles are irritated, and are often accompanied by pain. A vasospasm
is a rare type that occurs in a blood vessel. Spasms vary from mild twitches to severe convulsions
and may be the symptoms of any number of disorders. Usually, they will cease when the cause is corrected, but sometimes the only treatment is to suppress the symptoms, as in epilepsy
. These are spasms in which contraction and relaxation of the muscle alternate; this is the most common type of spasm and usually is not severe. A typical clonic spasm is the hiccup
. Hiccups usually occur when the diaphragm is irritated, as by indigestion, although occasionally they may result from a serious condition such as a brain tumor; they generally disappear by themselves or after a drink of water.
Spasms may be repetitive twitching motions, some of which are called tics
. Tics often accompany other types of spasm, as in such diseases as cerebral palsy
and sydenham's chorea
, and may also be seen in neuralgia. In tic douloureux
the nerves of the face are involved.Habit spasms
are a type of repetitive twitching movements that seem purposeless or without a cause; they include twitching of the face, blinking of the eyes, and grimacing. The movements are rapid and always repeated in the same way, unlike the spasms associated with chorea. The motions are carried out automatically in response to a stimulus that once may have existed but no longer does.
In a convulsive spasm
the entire body is jerked by sudden violent movements that may involve almost all the muscles. These spasms may last from a fraction of a second to several seconds, or even minutes. (See also convulsion
. If the contraction of a spasm is sustained or continuing, it is called a tonic
or tetanic spasm.
These are generally severe because they are caused by diseases that affect the central nervous system or brain, such as tetanus
, and cerebral palsy
. Severe tonic spasms can be fatal if not treated promptly; continued spasms can bring on exhaustion or asphyxiation. The treatment varies with the cause; if the disease is caused by a microorganism in the system, as in tetanus, antiserum must be administered immediately. Antibiotics are also used to help curb infection. In many cases tranquilizers, sedatives, and narcotics must be administered to help ease the spasms.
spasmodic contraction of the muscular coat of the smaller divisions of the bronchi, as occurs in asthma
; called also bronchospasm
a spasm consisting of clonic contractions; see also clonus
(infantile massive s's
) (jackknife s's
) a syndrome of severe myoclonus
appearing in the first 18 months of life, and associated with general cerebral deterioration; it is marked by severe flexion spasms of the head, neck, and trunk and extension of the arms and legs. Called also jackknife seizures
nodding spasm clonic spasm of the sternomastoid muscles, causing a nodding motion of the head.
saltatory spasm clonic spasms of the muscles of the lower limbs, producing a peculiar jumping or springing action.
A sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles; includes cramps, and contractures.
1. a sudden, violent, involuntary muscular contraction.
2. a sudden transitory constriction of a passage, canal, or orifice.
carpopedal spasm spasm of the hand or foot, or of the thumbs and great toes, seen in tetany.
clonic spasm a spasm consisting of clonic contractions.
facial spasm tonic spasm of the muscles supplied by the facial nerve, involving the entire side of the face or confined to a limited area about the eye.
see under tic.
infantile spasms a syndrome of severe myoclonus appearing in infancy and associated with general cerebral deterioration.
intention spasm muscular spasm on attempting voluntary movement.
myopathic spasm spasm accompanying disease of the muscles.
nodding spasm a nodding motion of the head accompanied by nystagmus, seen in infants and young children.
saltatory spasm clonic spasm of the muscles of the legs, producing a peculiar jumping or springing motion when standing.
, tonic spasm tetanus
toxic spasm spasm caused by a toxin.
A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
Etymology: Gk, spasmos
1 an involuntary muscle contraction of sudden onset, such as habit spasms, hiccups, stuttering, or a tic.
2 a convulsion or seizure.
a sudden transient constriction of a blood vessel, bronchus, esophagus, pylorus, ureter, or other hollow organ. Compare stricture
. See also bronchospasm, pylorospasm
A sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscle groups; includes cramps, contractures.
Synonym(s): muscle spasm
spasm Involuntary strong contraction of a muscle or muscle group. Spasms may be brief or sustained (cramps) and may result from minor muscle disorders, disease of the nervous system or habit (TICS).
An involuntary, sudden, violent contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.
n sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle tissue accompanied by pain and interference with normal functioning.
Sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles; includes cramps and contractures.
n a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group. It may cause a twitch or close a canal or passage, depending on its location.
n the increased muscular tension and shortness that cannot be released voluntarily and prevents lengthening of the muscles involved. Caused by pain stimuli to the lower motor neurons.
1. a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
2. a sudden but transitory constriction of a passage, canal or orifice. Spasms usually occur when the nerves supplying muscles are irritated, and are commonly accompanied by pain. Occasionally a spasm may occur in a blood vessel, and is then called vasospasm.
Spasms vary from mild twitches to severe seizures and may be the signs of any number of disorders.
bronchospasm; spasmodic contraction of the muscular coat of the smaller divisions of the bronchi.
occurs mostly in young horses, the cause is unknown and the clinical syndrome is one of esophageal obstruction.
inherited congenital spasm's
in Jersey calves at birth; lethal within a few weeks; characterized by intermittent, vertical tremor of the head, neck and limbs, making progression and standing impossible; conditioned by a recessive gene.
muscle mass spasm
the basic functional defect in such diseases as Elso heel, inherited periodic spasticity.
clonic spasm of the sternomastoid muscles, causing a nodding motion of the head.
Patient discussion about spasm
Q. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO STOP YOUR PANCREAS FROM SPASMS, I HAVE A HARD TIME WHEN IT SEEMS MY PANCREAS IS ACTING UP IT HURTS SO BAD AND MY LIPIDS ARE HIGH HOW DO I GET RID OF THE PAIN OR CONTROLL IT.
A. the Pancreas does not have sensory nerves in it. this is the reason why pancreas cancer is the most deadly- you don't realize it's there until it's much too late. so this pain you describe does not ad up to be from the Pancreas.
i think this is a very good reason to see a Doctor.
Q. I ask a client's Dr. to script flexaril for a lower back spasm and he made it for a drug called zanaflex? I am unfamiliar with zanaflex, what is the difference between it and flexaril 25mg? Benefits? Risks? I got him to order the air mattress and extended bed because client is 6'3" and is already bedridden on my 1st day..try to beat the skin breakdown, already stage I decubitis ulcers. I tried to talk the client into slideboard and lift away arm wheelchair...noway..he wants to walk bent with a rolling walker. He already had a lift chair delivered, so he just goes from bed to lift chair. He refuses to let me bathe him. He can't see, and he has me check his draw up on insulin to make sure it's right. He sends the P.T. man right back out the door after he signs the sheet. Difficult pt.!
A. Flexeril and Zanaflex are different drugs but are both muscle relaxants. There are hardly any differences between the two, clinically wise. If the doctor thought one is better than the other for your client I would suggest you take his advice and use the one he gave you.More discussions about spasm